Wednesday, March 7, 2007

What's A Word, Anyway?

So I was typing an email to the lovely Bec today, the subject of which was the fantastic documentary, Jesus Camp. Since I was typing quickly, and with that lackadaisical air one associates with quick emailing, I neglected to capitalize (gasp!), instead allowing the Microsoft Outlook Autocorrect thingum to determine what should and should not be capitalized. Generally, it does a decent job. It always capitalizes "I" and the word that begins a sentence, and usually it recognizes people's names - though why it recognized Lindsey and Jessica but not Susie and Margo I will never understand. Which brings me to my conundrum. Who decides what is a word and what isn't? Who gets to decide if capitalizing a noun, and thus making it proper, turns it into a word, or a name, for that matter? Why is there no universal rule for this?

I typed "jesus camp." Microsoft Office said "jesus" was spelled incorrectly (and blogger is telling me the same thing, by the way). Just for kicks, I looked up their spelling suggestion. Microsoft Office's suggestion? "Jesus." That is not a spelling error, it is a grammatical error, and should be underlined in annoying green dashed lines, not annoying red dashed lines! Furthermore, if all it takes to make "jesus" a legitimately spelled word is a capital "J," why the heck can't they capitalize it automatically? Especially seeing as they do automatically capitalize Christ. they don't tell you that "christ" is misspelled (as blogger is telling me), they just autocorrect it. I love that "blogger" is a word, but "christ" isn't, unless you spell it with a capital "C." Oh, and by the way, the blogger spelling suggestion for "jesus" is "jess" or "jests." So Silly.

Note: Microsoft Outlook automatically capitalizes "microsoft," which blogger says is spelled incorrectly when it is in lowercase. Microsoft Outlook says that "autocorrect" is a word, while blogger says it is not, upper or lowercased. But "blogger" is a word, capitalized or not. Go figure.

I'm probably the only one in the universe who finds such stuff troubling, or even remotely interesting, but whatchagonnado? Oh, and blogger's spelling suggestion for "whatchagonnado" (a word I'm pretty sure I made up) : whatchamacallit. Apparently that is a word.

Oh, and PS: If you want a wonderful horoscope for march, click here. I don't know how, but Crazy Aunt Purl has done it again! And she always manages to cheer me up and right out of whatever career-related anxiety in which I currently find myself. So read her horoscopes, and the little biddy introductory post as well. They'll make you giggle. And want to watch Office Space. That is all.

1 comment:

  1. Of course "whatchamacallit" is a word--it's a candy bar! Maybe you should seek out a post-Berkeley Rep career marketing the "whatchagonnado," a delicious candy that not only includes fattening things like chocolate and caramel but also stuff like asbestos and cocaine. The advertisements would go like this: "Fat thighs? Radiation poisoning? Eh, Whatchagonnado?"